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Old 25-11-2009, 20:33   #1
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How F***ed Am I?

Just moved in to a new marina. The entire dock I'm on is nothing but 50amp. PITA, considering my boat and all my cables are 30. So the 50 to 30 amp pigtails finally come today.

It's dark, it's raining, I haven't had heat in a few days, etc. Oh and I've never dealt with a 50 amp connector before...another PITA. It was so tight, I though I was going to rip the power off the dock before that plug went in!

Anyway. So it's dark, it's raining, I'm getting aggravated. After a good 15 min of wrestling with it, I finally get it in. I get so excited, that I run back to the boat and throw the switch. BAM! and the smell of toasted electronics! That's when I look out the door and see the red light on the cable going into the boat.

So, what am I looking at? Fried inverter, wiring, AC receptacles, and battery charger? Is that it? What about fridge, water heater, and AC? I'd assume they're all ok, being that all those breakers were off?
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Old 25-11-2009, 20:44   #2
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Where did the bang occur...On your boat or on the pedestal?
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Old 25-11-2009, 20:49   #3
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On the boat...I think. Although it did come from the direction of the dock. The switch immediately flew back to the off position and I smelled things cooking. Inverter definitely appears to be dead.
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Old 25-11-2009, 21:16   #4
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Take time to check things.....Many inverters have some type of internal fusing.

What kind of splitter were you using?
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Old 25-11-2009, 21:22   #5
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Splitter? Do you mean at the pedestal?
None. It was just a single 50 amp to single 20 amp adapter.
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Old 25-11-2009, 21:29   #6
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i suggest tonight you sleep with fire estinguisher under your head. i think it's few fuses here and there. if it would be wires, you would already fighting it.
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Old 25-11-2009, 21:52   #7
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Simply plugging in a 30amp service into a 5oamp outlet should not have done anything. I've done this with R/Vs lots of times.
If the 50 amp service is 220 volts (110 on 2 different prongs) and the pig tails were wired wrong, then you could have exposed your system to 220 volts. In which case any device that was connected (breakers turned on) will be damaged. possibly only fuses. Any devices that are connected to the breakers that were turned off are safe.
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Old 25-11-2009, 22:14   #8
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If your inverter was on, depending on how it's wired into the system and/or isolated, that could have caused a problem when you threw the dock breaker on.

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Old 25-11-2009, 22:20   #9
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I'm pretty sure the inverter was off. I was using it earlier to run the shopvac, since I didn't have shore power, but was doing a good job of switching it off every time I finished with vac.

Don't you think it's probably just bad wiring at the dock?
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Old 25-11-2009, 22:25   #10
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Did your adapter look like this

Just curious
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Old 26-11-2009, 05:45   #11
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Is this a common thing for docks to have just 50 amp service? I don't go to other marinas much and don't carry a plug converter. Is it commonly needed?

Jim
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Old 26-11-2009, 06:01   #12
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I can go from a 50amp to a 30 amp to a regular extension cable and I use them frequently when I visit marinas and boat yards. In a yard at the moment and keeping the refrigeration and batteries going on an extension cord via all my adaprtors
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Old 26-11-2009, 07:23   #13
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It sounds to me like the you just hadn't plugged it in all the way and you had a big arch where your shore power plugs into the boat or where you plugged the adaptor into the 50 amp. You said the sound came from the dock, it was raining out, and you were having a hard time plugging it in. All of these conditions point to arching. As for the dead inverter...I don't know. Maybe it's like these guys are saying and there was some internal circuitry that was unhappy.

Either way I would have a look at all of the ends on your shore power cord, the dock kiosk, and your adapter, if there is a little (or big) brown hash mark between the hot pin and the ground then all you are out is a new dock cord, in that case you would not be all that F***k after all!
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Old 26-11-2009, 07:33   #14
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Did you foul up some of the wiring on your boat? Did it work with 30 amp service? If so perhaps you had a bad connection and it arced and overloaded and tripped the breaker???
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Old 26-11-2009, 07:37   #15
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Adapter pretty much looks like that, except 50 amp end is all yellow and the rings are actually part of the molding not seperate.

Def had it plugged in all the way. It was bottomed out on the plug and I gave it a twist. Cable ends are all fine. The red light on the boat end of the plug was on, whic indicates reverse polarity. I just tested the cable with other adapter I got, and got a red light with that one too.

The only thing I had on at the time was the outlets on one side of the boat. I think everything else including inverter was off.
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